Mastering Candid Engagement Photos

A Beginner’s Guide to Capturing Genuine Moments

When it comes to photographing engagement sessions, the goal is clear: to immortalize the genuine love and connection between the couple through candid photos. While posed shots have their charm, it’s the candid moments that truly capture the essence of a couple’s relationship. In this guide, we’ll explore how beginner wedding and couples photographers can effortlessly capture candid engagement photos during a session.

1. Setting the Stage: Not Looking at the Camera Unless Directed

One of the secrets to capturing authentic candid photos is to encourage the couple to not focus on the camera unless you explicitly instruct them to. When the couple isn’t constantly aware of the lens, they are more likely to relax and let their true emotions shine through. As a photographer, consider starting with some simple, unposed warm-up shots to help the couple get used to your presence. These initial candid photos can often turn out to be some of the most endearing.

2. Going “Off Script”: Encourage Natural Interaction and Truly Candid Moments

It’s essential to teach the couple not to be afraid to go “off script” during their engagement session. While some poses are classic and timeless, the magic often happens when couples interact naturally. Encourage them to talk, share stories, or reminisce about special moments. These unscripted interactions can lead to genuine laughter, loving glances, and authentic expressions that make for stunning candid engagement photos.

3. Embrace Playfulness: Capture Laughter and Joy

Engagement sessions are all about celebrating love, so don’t hesitate to encourage couples to play and laugh together. When they share a playful moment, like a gentle tickle or an inside joke, be ready to click the shutter. These spontaneous expressions of joy will bring your candid engagement photos to life and resonate deeply with your clients. A great way to accomplish this is by having the couple bring an activity they enjoy doing together or even simple props. For this session we just had the couple lay out and sit on a blanket (you can find a link to a similar one here) and interact with their environment.

4. Be You: Show PDA Your Way

Every couple has their unique way of showing affection, and this uniqueness is what makes candid engagement photos so special. Some might prefer hand-holding, while others enjoy hugs, secret handshakes, or tender forehead kisses. It’s crucial to discuss with the couple how they like to show PDA and encourage them to do so during the session. This not only adds authenticity to the candid photos but also makes the experience more personal for the couple.

5. Unveil Personality: Let Their True Selves Shine in Candid Engagement Photos

One of the most rewarding aspects of engagement photography is capturing the unique personality of each couple through candid engagement photos. Spend time getting to know your clients before the session. Learn about their interests, hobbies, and quirks. This knowledge will help you suggest locations and activities that resonate with their personalities, resulting in more authentic and meaningful candid photos.


As a beginner wedding and couples photographer, mastering the art of capturing candid engagement photos during a session can set you apart in the industry. Remember, the key is to create an environment where the couple can be themselves, express their love naturally, and let their unique personalities shine through in their candid photos. By following these tips and encouraging authentic interactions, you’ll be well on your way to creating stunning, heartfelt candid photos that your clients will cherish for a lifetime.

Enjoy these sweet primarily candid engagement photos from my little brother-in-law and his sweet fiance. If you want to see more personality-filled images check out our Couples Portfolio.